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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I tried using the search option but it returned too many results I guess to show them. I have a little guy about 4 months old. He doesn't use his wheel and just sits in a ball and poops when I put him in one. I've been having him swim for exercise but its pretty worrysome. I called the place I got him at and they said it wasn't normal. Ideas? I tried putting him in the wheel but he just runs out. He eats, and eliminates so I figure he is healthy. He runs around when I hold him and knows who I am as well. I know this since he used to lick me, but now he doesn't anymore.
 

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Some hedgies will never use a wheel. Just leave it in his cage and if he decides to use it, you'll wake up to a poopy wheel one morning. Also, many hedgies don't like to be watched and will stop or just sit there if you're looking at them. If you have lights on, that could be the problem even if it's only a red light on your ceramic heat emitter. Some require total darkness.
As for the place you got him, they were somewhat correct. Most hedgies DO run. But not all. Many want nothing to do with a wheel.
Just make sure he's on a low fat food, leave the wheel in the cage, and keep interacting with him. Hopefully you'll wake up to a poopy wheel soon.
 

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You might try turning it off for a few nights and see if he spends more time out in his cage at night, or even tries his wheel. If you don't want to turn it off, you could drape a blanket over the cage, blocking the light from shining inside it.
 

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Try complete darkness...one of our girls will run if the lights are low, as long as her wheel is turned away from the lights...the other wont run at all unless it is completely dark.
 

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One other note...the ball is not a real popular idea around here....hedgies poop "on the go" so they will have a ball full of poop and pee raining down on them and poor vetilation. and what ventilation slits are there can grab a hedgie toe/nail and cause a pretty painful injury. a playpen is a much better choice...or even a plastic kiddie pool.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I let him swim often, he does poop a lot in there. He's gotten pretty used to floating in the bath from time to time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I picked up a heat rock for him today too. I'll see if that makes any difference. The apartment is usually around 70, with the rock the cage is now around 80.
 

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Heat rocks are not god for hedgies as they can easily cause burns.

the average temperature of the cage should be roughly 74-78. A hedgehog can enter a state of hibernation known as aestivation at temperatures over 78*F.

To keep the cage warm you either need to increase the ambient temperature of the room, or use a ceramic heat emitter above the cage. Once again, those rocks can burn the sensitive hedgie feet. If it is hot to the touch of your wrist, it is FAR to hot to be in a hedgies cage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
He chills on the rock all the time. Its temp controlled to stay below 80. Is it still no good?
 

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I've read enough horror stories about lizards getting burned and roasted on those rocks enough not to use one for a hedgehog....

Unless they've improved it dramatically, OR you can wrap a fleece around(without it being a fire hazard) it so that your hedgehog is never directly ontop of the rock.
 

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there have been cases of hedgehogs getting low temperature burns from human heating pads, which get nowhere close to 80 ...so at that temp its very possible for them to get burned...it happens when they lay on something a bit to warm, not warm enough to hurt but warm enough to damage skin, for a long period of time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I got a ceramic heat element with the dimmer thing as well. Its sitting at 81 right now which is pretty good I think. I dimmed it down a tad so hopefully it will drop. Now I just gotta get him in that wheel...
 

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just so you are aware (if you are not already) a hedgehog can begin hibernation as low as 72*F and aestivation as high as 78*F.

Aestivation is a form of hibernation in where a hedgehogs metabolism slows and they begin to act lethargic because they are to warm. They will often splat out and start panting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Update: he didn't use the wheel because it wasn't big enough. Took him to the store, put him in a 21 inch wheel and he started walking.
 

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On a random note, it is very true about lizards being able to burn themselves on heating rocks/pads, etc. It's possible for any animal, I'm sure, but I know with lizards it's because they're cold blooded so they feel the warmth but a lizard doesn't know when they're bodies are too warm.

As far as warm blooded animals, I've never heard of somebody using one for one before, but I'm sure if your hedgie falls asleep on it, there's a decent chance he/she won't wake up before it's hot enough to burn.
 

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On the note of heating pads/rocks & burning mamels - while I've never put an animal on a heated pad.... back in the Fall I fell asleep on a hotwater bottle and got a wicked burn on my back. I now have a little scar to remind me not to do that again. Yeah most animals (people) will wake up before they burn, if they're really tired they may not.
 

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There was a case a while back about a hedgie that was burned from a heating pad. The vet called it a "low temperature burn" and it was quite serious. It was caused by the hedgie sleeping on heating pad under its cage, and while the pad wasn't hot enough to cause pain, so the hedgie didn't move away, it was hot enough to burn the skin over time, I remember seeing the pictures and it was pretty bad. This just shows that if you use heating pads or blankets that you need to use extreme caution.
 
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